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* Posts by Martin

721 posts • joined 17 Jan 2008

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NASA boffin: I have solved RIDDLE of huge BULGE FOUND ON MOON

Martin
Unhappy

Of course, had we not abandoned the Apollo project...

...we would have, by now, had a permanent scientific colony up there, which would have been able to analyse this sort of thing much more accurately and effectively.

Sigh.

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Too rich for an iPhone 6? How about a gold-plated Brikk?

Martin
Happy

Re: Really...

They also plan to offer gold-plated Galaxy and HTC products...

But I bet that over 90% of the gold-plated phones they sell are Apple.

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Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON

Martin

Re: Sigh

Not forgetting, please, the Command Module pilots:-

Michael Collins

Richard F Gordon

Stewart A Roosa

Alfred M Worden

Thomas K. Mattingly

Ronald E Evans

They didn't walk on the moon, but they went with those who did. And they are too easily forgotten.

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Use Tor or 'extremist' Tails Linux? Congrats, you're on an NSA list

Martin
Happy

Re: Well done El Reg

...and the bevy of California girls.

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For one night only – Ibsen classic gets the Dolby Atmos treatment

Martin
Happy

Did you see that? no? well it was awesome, really it was! sorry you missed it!

Well, I personally am very grateful to the Register for bringing it to my attention.

I went with my sixteen-year-old daughter to see this last night. We both agreed it really was an exceptional performance - I have rarely, if ever, walked away from a film feeling like that.

But yes - it's a bit of a minority interest, and that's a damn shame. The assumption is that as it's Ibsen, and theatre, it must be highbrow rubbish. Actually, it's a marvellous play, brilliantly acted, and very accessible.

I am quite sure that the people who did it are exceptionally proud of it - and so they should be. Lesley Manville, Jack Lowden won Olivier Awards for their performances, and the director Richard Eyre won the Evening Standard award for Best Director.

It was awesome, really it was. Sorry you missed it.

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Who needs a ride-on mower when a ROBOT will cut your grass

Martin
WTF?

Never mind the tip....

What does it do with the grass cuttings in general?

I have a small Bosch mower which is all I need for my two mini-lawns. But I have to empty the grass-cutting box at least once half-way through cutting. So what does this thing do?

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9 Dark Social Truths That Will Totally Blow Your Bowels!

Martin

Marginally NSFW?

I think the third picture means that this should have been labelled as marginally NSFW.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Martin
Headmaster

Re: How the hell

...businesses would bring pressure to BEAR...

But you've had an upvote for the sentiments.

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Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Martin
WTF?

You're talking about picture in picture?

So you can watch a TV show in a smaller picture while you're playing a game in the main screen?

Blimey, if the game is so easy that you can watch TV at the same time, then what's the point of it?

Come to that, if the TV program is so uninteresting that you want to play a game while watching it, why bother to have it on?

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Mobe-orists, beware: Stroking while driving could land you a £4k fine

Martin
FAIL

Re: GOOD

If you are driving close enough to someone to see them doing that, you're driving FAR too close to them at 70mph...

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13

Toshiba's CB30-102 13.3in Chromebook – imagine a tablet with a keyboard

Martin

Re: Sadly

The silly ram and HD limitations almost always simply make it a no go.

Hard disk - it's got an SSD so that it starts quickly, and if you want a bigger one, it's a LOT more expensive. What do you need large amounts of disk for? And once they get the promised local connection to a shared disk on the home LAN, there will be even less reason to need a large disk.

RAM - it's got 2GB. 4GB would be better, but again would cost more. People who use it with 2GB are saying that it zips along perfectly fine. What do you get with 4GB that you can't do with 2GB? Open forty tabs instead of twenty?

Like the poster above said - how about trying one, rather than just looking at it?

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1

About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths

Martin
Unhappy

I'm a bit puzzled....

I was taught at school that the expected result of the drunkard's walk is sqrt(n) - that is, after n paces you'll be sqrt(n) paces away from your starting point.

But that monte carlo simulation seems to indicate that the distance is actually something like 0.9sqrt(n).

So what's going on here?

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eBay slammed for daft post-hack password swap advice

Martin
FAIL

Re: password scoring software

Therefore, telling Google your password - why not?

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You know all those resources we're about to run out of? No, we aren't

Martin

Re: I would argue the situation was even worse

I can't even be arsed to vote.

Just supporting everyone else. If you don't like any of them, vote "none of the above" - ie spoil your paper. It's still better than not voting. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain about the result.

I think it would be interesting to have a "none of the above" selection on elections - I think it would win an overall majority frequently. And if enough elections went that way, perhaps politicians would start actually doing some good.

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Facebook wants to LISTEN IN on the songs and vids playing in YOUR living room

Martin
WTF?

I'm getting old....

If I'm listening to music, or watching TV, I don't find it necessary to tell anyone else what I'm doing. I don't, frankly, understand why anyone else would be interested.

Just one more reason not to have Facebook.

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More chance you came a cropper on a UK road than bought a Chromebook this year

Martin

Re: Quite Like It

...and, come to think of it, the Sammy would probably handle 99% of what she uses that for, at 20% of the price.

Which is the point that most people seem to miss. For what 99% of people do, 99% of the time, the Chromebook is perfect.

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Martin
FAIL

Re: Or the alternative opinion

Get her a full blown laptop with productivity software. Chromebooks and tablets are appliances.

Getting them locked down computers and tablets is seriously ruining their education.

If by "her" you mean my wife - she needs an appliance, not a full blown laptop.

If by "her" you mean my daughter - she uses her Chromebook for her homework (essays, investigating the net et al) and uses her desktop Mint machine for more interesting stuff.

Happy now?

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Martin
Happy

Or the alternative opinion

Excellent little machines for basic email and web access, which is all most people want. I have one, my sixteen year old daughter has one, and my wife will be getting one (with a touch screen - she likes touch screens) when her current PC dies.

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Indian climate boffins: Himalayan glaciers are NOT MELTING

Martin
Happy

Ah, that's better!

I've been wondering what had happened to El Reg. There have been two or three recent articles which have simply reported climate change stories without any obvious bias. But this is back to normal - publishing an article which clearly indicates that global warning is nothing to worry about, and a sideswipe or two at the IPCC. What a relief.

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Teardowns confirm $1,500 Google Glass hardware is DIRT CHEAP

Martin

To be fair...

...specs are ALWAYS overpriced - particularly in this country. Those of you who don't have to wear glasses would be appalled at what we short-sighted people have to pay out.

What you pay for a pair of glasses (particularly the frames) does not come close to reflecting the actual cost of the materials.

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HP's Whitman rues 'biggest failure' at eBay Japan

Martin
FAIL

Re: how to turn hp around

"If you want smaller printer drivers switch OS to Linux, most drivers there are an incredible 0kb due to not being written. You won't be able to print anything mind."

If you're going to slag off Linux (even as a joke), at least pick on something it doesn't do well. HP printers are brilliantly supported by Linux - just run "hp-setup" and follow the instructions. It'll find your printer, set it up and print perfectly to it, whether it's a direct connection, a network printer or even a wireless one.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Martin
Happy

Re: Anyone heard from a server admin anywhere yet?

Score points for LastPass here.

If you run their "security tester" which checks your passwords for duplicates and strength, they also give you a list of the people you are connected to who may be vulnerable, and what to do.

"What to do" was basically "WAIT" if the company had the vulnerability, but hadn't patched; "Change your password now" as the company had finished patching; and "You are now OK" once you'd changed your password.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

Martin
WTF?

And another thing...

This was alluded to in the article - but the original albums were mixed in a certain way, which we're all used to from the original LPs. These new mixes just sound odd. I bought a copy of Argus (Wishbone Ash) when it first came out on CD; I then bought a new "remastered" version. OK, arguably, the sound was clearer. Actually, it was probably just at a higher level which meant less dynamic range - and the mix was a complete mess. Awful.

So when I play that album, if I'm feeling choosy, I go back to the vinyl; otherwise, I play the original CD which I'm fairly sure was just a direct transfer from the final master of the vinyl - and frankly, as a result, is closer in sound to the original vinyl that anything else. And I think it's a crying shame that more CDs of classic albums are not simple direct transfers from the final master of the vinyl.

And yet another thing - who the hell WANTS to listen to Bennie and the Jets in 5.1 audio? Why would I want to hear music coming from behind me?

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

Martin
Happy

Re: Funny thing is...

I have heard it said that once you set it up correctly, it's no fuss at all - it works transparently.

I heard of a particular problem that someone had where they tried to buy a book from Google Play in ePub format, only to find that the book had somehow mislaid all the apostrophes and quote marks. So the person bought the book on Kindle (whose version of the book was fine), downloaded it to his PC, drag'n'dropped it into Calibre, uploaded it to his ePub reader and it was fine. (And he got his money back from Google Play, too.)

I, of course, know no more details about how he did it, and I have no comment on the legality of it.

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Martin
Headmaster

Re: Why wouldn't I spend on a Magnepan setup instead?

"...you can literally see the sound as it envelops a room."

Really? That must look strange.

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Martin

If cheapskate audiophiles want to go for wireless streaming, they should go for the old Squeezebox stuff, which is still reasonably easily available second hand. And if they are rich audiophiles, then the Squeezebox Transporter goes for over five hundred quid second hand on eBay.

It's a damn shame that Logitech stopped selling the Squeezeboxen.

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Martin

Or even....

...from the same shop, a stereo amp, two small bookshelf speakers, take the sound output from the 2 phonos on the back of the telly and it'll STILL sound massively better than the TV. Add a cheap CD player and you've got a good hi-fi in the front room - add a Squeezebox classic second hand and you can stream all you like. (And the second hand squeezebox will be the most expensive item you buy).

Seventeen hundred quid? Seriously?

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Eight hour cleansing to get all the 'faggots' and 'bitches' OUT of Github

Martin
FAIL

Re: Fags !

I have some sympathy with your point, but in the interests of accuracy, I should point out that a fag is a cigarette, and the unused end of a cigarette is known as a fag-end or sometimes a butt. Don't know of a word or phrase for a discarded unused end of a cigar.

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This record-smashing robot solves a Rubik's Cube in 3.253 seconds

Martin
Happy

Re: Ah good old school days..

But how did you learn to do it - and can you still do it?

I originally solved the cube without recourse to any instructions - took me a couple of months. (My first ever success was a fluke, where I did the first two layers and the third just appeared correctly - to my total astonishment.) But as a result, I have those slow but reliable algorithms fixed in place in my mind (and muscle memory!). I can still solve it now - but it probably takes me 3-5 minutes - and using my algorithms, I doubt if it could be done more quickly than two minutes.

But those algorithms work, and I suspect I'll never forget how to do it now. It's still a good trick for impressing your kids and their friends.

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Martin
Meh

Re: Unbelievably wonderfull

Hmm.

Yes, it's impressive the first time a Lego built machine + a phone solves the cube. I thought it was amazing when I saw the video for the first time last year. And it's quite something that it can do it under five seconds. But getting it down for 4.3 seconds to 3.5 (or whatever it is) is just improvements in technology - it's not anything new any more.

There's also the point that a random setting may have a "best" solution which takes a certain number of moves. Another random setting may have a "best" solution which takes fewer moves. If the cube happens to be in the second setting, the robot will solve it more quickly. How do you tell whether you've merely got a relatively simple start position?

Hence, the "meh" icon. It was impressive once. Now it's just more of the same.

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SACRILEGE! Hitchhiker's Guide game's back ... and it TWEETS at you

Martin

Don't try to summon my enthusiasm, because I haven't got one.

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Neil Young touts MP3 player that's no Piece of Crap

Martin
Happy

Re: Oh Emperor! Your new clothes do look wonderful!

Endorsed by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Who was deaf.

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Happy 75th birthday, Adam Osborne

Martin
Happy

Re: Memory Lane

Indeed, it was a luggable, rather than a portable.

But I remember working for a small company which was building embedded systems. I went along to demonstrate a new release for a customer. They pointed out an error; I was able to fire up the Osborne, correct the software, attach a PROM burner, burn a new prom and install it, and demonstrate the problem was fixed - in less than fifteen minutes. One happy customer. Something like that simply wasn't possible before the Osborne - you'd have had to return to base to fix it.

But haven't we come a long way since then?

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Boston court confirms Peeping Tom's right to upskirt

Martin
FAIL

Re: If it is illegal to 'upskirt'

Can't have it both ways.

What arrant nonsense.

If a woman wears a bikini in public, it's normally in a place where she expects to be looked at - for example, on a beach or at a swimming pool. And she can't really complain if photos are taken of her. (But even if a woman is wearing a bikini in public, I think it's reasonable to be hacked off if someone is taking a photo of her as if it were an upskirt - no matter how legal it is.)

A woman who is wearing a skirt is reasonably entitled to not expect a man to be trying to look up said skirt - and is certainly entitled to assume that he won't reach down with a mobile phone to take a photo up her skirt.

And even if a man gets a glimpse up a skirt, it's just one of those things - quite a kick if you're a teenager, as I remember. But taking a photo of said view is just damn pervy. It's the difference between glancing at a woman's cleavage and staring deliberately at her breasts.

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Fujitsu launches lappie for oldies

Martin

Re: There was a time.....

I once had to read a serial number for a customer support call. It was ridiculously small. I couldn't read it. My sixteen year old daughter could only just read it, and couldn't be 100% sure she'd read it correctly.

So I took a photo of it with my phone and zoomed in. Problem solved. I love modern technology.

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Devs write 'film my shag' sex app for Google Glass

Martin
Happy

A variant on the old limerick...

There was a young man called Menzies

Whose kissing drove girls into frenzies:

Till a virgin one night

Crossed her legs in a fright

And shattered his Google Glass lenses.

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4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

Martin

Re: But will there ever be anything worth watching?

Indeed. 4K TV will be for people who admire the quality of their TV screens, not for people who actually want to watch TV.

Just like top-end super-de-luxe hi-fi is the preserve of people who spend their time listening to how good it sounds, not the actual music.

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Why 2014 might just be the year of the Google Chromebook

Martin

Re: Oh and why are you taking a laptop to the park ?

So if there are pretty girls (or boys) to look at in the park, why take the laptop?

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Martin

And if they are really getting 10% of the market...

...the software makers might start coming on board too - which won't do any harm.

All we need now is a few Chromebooks at a couple of hundred quid with a better screen than 1366x768.

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Sony seeks mojo reboot with 147-inch 'honey-you-can't-afford-me' 4K home projector

Martin
FAIL

This new vision...

...creates a brand-new sensorial and atmospheric experience that utilizes space, space itself.

As marketing bollocks goes, that is pretty awesome. Sensorial, eh? You can smell it and touch it too?

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Mars One's certain-death space jolly shortlists 1,000 wannabe explorers

Martin
Thumb Up

Re: Make it compulsory.

Michael Gove ahead of both of those.

Also Nick "Broken Promises" Clegg.

Oh, and Tony Blair - for winning a landslide Labour victory and then spectacularly letting everyone who voted for him down.

Actually, why not just send all the cabinet members of all UK governments of the last twenty years or so? God knows they've completely failed to do their normal jobs properly.

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Curiosity rover: While you humans were busy being hungover, this bot hit its 500th Martian day

Martin
Happy

Re: auld lang syne

Well, there is always this alternative, which might cheer you up.

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Two Brits face criminal trial for sending 'menacing' tweets

Martin

Re: Feminists are irritating

Two people have been charged with allegedly sending "menacing" tweets to a feminist campaigner..

Oops. Missed that. Sorry.

Doesn't invalidate my post, though.

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10
Martin

Re: Feminists are irritating

Where does it say anywhere that Caroline Criado-Perez or Stella Creasy are feminists?

And what, exactly, have they done, on the evidence of this article, to irritate you?

Or are you just assuming (not unreasonably) that they are likely to be feminists as they are intelligent campaigning women? And what is wrong with that? Why should that irritate you?

They are simply women just trying to be treated fairly by a male-dominated world.

Some feminists are irritating - like those who make comments like "Men are all closet rapists". Most have more sense, and don't make stupid generalizations. Perhaps you should try avoiding similar stupid generalizations.

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Hey Linux newbie: If you've never had a taste, try perfect Petra ... mmm, smells like Mint 16

Martin

Re: Oldskoolers?

Actually, they're probably running UNIX, and sneering at this new-fangled graphical rubbish.

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Ten top tech toys to interface with a techie’s Christmas stocking

Martin
Linux

Re: "it sure as heck isn’t going to be the year of desktop Linux..."

A vanishingly small number of the people who've so far resisted upgrading from XP may decide to put Linux on their aging hardware.

And they'll try Ubuntu, and discover that the latest version won't run on their machine as it needs super-de-luxe 3D graphics. Even my four-year-old nettop won't run stock Ubuntu 13.10 - it looks fine until you press the "flag" button, and then it all goes a lovely shade of blue. Quite nostalgic, really.

While Ubuntu is the most well-known desktop Linux, it will NEVER be "the year of desktop Linux".

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Astroboffins spot HOT, YOUNG GIANT where she doesn't belong

Martin

Re: Cool!!

Isaac Asimov, I think you'll find....

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UK.gov to warn tweeting twits, celebs 'n' pals on court case comments

Martin

Re: Lets test this "law" thing

I think you're in danger of overcomplicating this.

What I think the Attorney General is trying to do is to make people aware that there ARE laws in place to do with contempt of court, so that they can't say, in all innocence "I didn't know I wasn't allowed to say that."

The contempt laws are not in place to just be awkward - they are put in place to protect the innocent (like the babies who were raped by the LostProphets guy) and to ensure that people can get a fair trial.

The second one is particularly important - one day soon, a person who is almost certain guilty of a heinous crime will walk free because some idiot tweeted information about them that gets into the public domain which will make it impossible for them to get a fair trial.

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Women crap at parking: Official

Martin
FAIL

Re: Parking

No. It illustrates that ONE WOMAN can't multitask.

Sheesh. I've never seen so much generalization from specifics as I have on this particular comment thread. Most of them are men, so presumably that proves that men always generalize from specifics.

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Martin

Re: Stochastics

It's not bogus in the least. The reason is because the in-group variation is normally HUGE and the between-group variation is normally tiny. Height is not a good example, as the differences are quite significant between men and women, and clearly sex-oriented. But the difference in driving skills between men and women is (a) probably not as much as people make it out to be and (b) potentially explainable in other ways that "she's a woman, therefore she's worse". For example, one possible explanation is that most people have been brought up to believe that men are better drivers, and so tend to let men drive more, so they get more practice, which generally makes them better drivers....

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